Raahi means ‘traveler’ in Hindi and I have traveled a long way, both literally and figuratively to make this Zinfandel. To visit the Esola Vineyard in Lodi, California’s Shenandoah Valley requires me to drive farther than any other vineyard. The journey is absolutely worth it. In firm, granite soils and from old, own-rooted vines, I am able to work with small clusters of intensely perfumed Zinfandel. There is a wildness, a savage quality to Zinfandel that I enjoy so much. Like Syrah, there are savory qualities of pepper and spice that mingle so well with the brighter, wilder fruit profile inherent in Zinfandel.
I fermented the 2019 Raahi Zinfandel in an old wooden tank, leaving the grape clusters intact and striving for an incredibly gentle and natural fermentation. The small berries offered up plenty of texture, structure, and color on their own, without having to coax any more out of them. The resulting wine is wonderfully spiced and peppery while still retaining lifted fruit notes that make the wine drink really well right now.
Because of the savory elements in the 2019 Raahi Zinfandel, the wine sings with anything well-seasoned and cooked over an open flame. From slow cooked ribs to a quickly grilled tri-tip, I hope Raahi will be right by your side as you grill away this summer.